X-Ray Crystallography Is Developed by the Braggs (Great Events from History II: Science and Technology Series)
Article abstract: The Braggs founded the science of X-ray crystallography, verified the very short wavelength nature of X radiation, developed spectrometers for measuring X-ray wavelengths, and deduced crystal structures of many substances.
Summary of Event
The development of X-ray crystallography helped to answer two major questions of science: What are X rays? and What are crystals? It gave birth to a new technology for the identification and classification of crystalline substances. Shortly after the discovery of X rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, X rays were put to a variety of uses, particularly in medicine. Yet, the true nature of X rays eluded researchers. Some proclaimed X rays as a form of energy that traveled in waves. The wave theory that portrayed radiation as a series of sinusoidal waves already had proved very useful in deducing the nature of light. It was recognized that any radiation in wave form could persist as a ray only as long as the waves moved “in phase.” That meant that the peaks and troughs of each wave had to oscillate together in harmony with those of adjacent waves as they moved through space. If adjacent waves did not oscillate in harmony, peaks and troughs collided, interfered with one another, immediately canceled one another’s existence, and destroyed any ray.
(The entire section is 2111 words.)
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